Matilda, by Roald Dahl is a hilarious book that can be used in school from children as young as 7 upwards. The novel has lots of scope in the classroom curriculum to be used across several subjects. It may be used to explore the life and works of Roald Dahl or simply be one book that can be linked in to other areas of the curriculum.
Matilda adores reading and in the novel she includes lists of books she has read and comments on the authors and their works. The class could list their favourite authors and books and make a collection of them and compile their own book or have them on a display.
The book can also be compared with Roald Dahl’s other works. The children can decide if they like this one the best or prefer another story. As well as looking at story writing the children could take the story and turn it into a another genre, writing poems about it or writing a diary or newspaper article about a scene in the book.
The children could make up their own comedic heroes and villains.
For grammar and punctuation, sentences based on the story can be used with missing adjectives, verbs or punctuation. This then helps to reinforce the skills in a fun way. Their association with the plot will help children remember the different technical terms.
There are references to lists, the days Mrs Wormwood goes to Bingo, Multiplications and money. Depending on the age range ability the money problems Mr Wormwood sets his son could be used as a Numeracy activity and word problems set in relation to the story.
There are lots of issues in Matilda, including neglect. The young child is left to look after herself; her father treats her badly and calls her names. Mr Wormwood cheats his customers by altering the mileage and putting sawdust in the gear box. This book makes an excellent starting point for exploring issues such as honesty, jealousy and bullying.
*Art/ Design and Technology
Various mediums of art can be used to create pictures of Matilda’s house, dramatic parts of the story and images of the characters. Collage, painting and pencil are some of the different kinds of art that can be used. Mr Wormwood has loud clothes and the children could design some outrageous clothes for him. A model of the house Matilda lives in could be made by groups of children.
In drama groups of children can take parts of the story and re-enact it for the other children. They can set up mock interviews for the characters and have them in the hot-seat.
In ICT the children can research information about Roald Dahl, his life and works. Afterwards they can create a PowerPoint presentation or use the Art programmes to create their own pictures.
Matilda is a fun story that has so much potential in the primary classroom. The above ideas are just some of the ideas that can be used in various lessons to consolidate learning and create colourful displays in the classroom.